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Yoga: Dharma & Karma

The way of Dharma:

All the great spiritual and healing traditions of India are based upon the concept of Dharma or natural law. Dharma is a Sanskrit word that refers to the laws of truth that govern the universe. Dharma is that which upholds things, a fundamental principle and pillar. Dharmas are the underlying principles that keep all things in harmony and sustain their higher growth and development.

Dharma indicates the foundation of universal law on which we must base our actions for them to gain the support of the universe.

Hinduism calls itself Sanatana Dharma, or the Eternal Dharma, suggesting a tradition of natural law not limited by time, space or person. Buddhism calls itself Buddha Dharma, the natural way to enlightenment. All the methodologies of Yoga are Dharmic in nature, helping us harness natural law and spiritual forces in nature to transform our consciousness from ignorance to knowledge. Yoga is a Dharmic practice, an approach to a life which is the way of Self-realization. It instructs us to follow our higher Dharma, which is to give up outer seeking and strive to know our true nature.

Ayurveda can be called a Dharmic Medicine, an approach to health and everyday living based upon conscious healing, which seeks to uphold the dharma in our lifestyle. Dharmic living gives us health and happiness. Adharmic living is a life contrary to Dharma, which brings pain and disharmony to all. Most of the physical diseases, psychological problems and emotional disorders are rooted in adharmic living, living out of balance with the universe.

The most important Dharmic law is the law of Karma: as we act so must we experience the fruits of our actions, not only in this life but in future lives as well. There is an absolute justice in the universe which is not about punishments and rewards but one of the development of consciousness. Dharmic action provides inner peace and happiness. Adharmic action constricts our consciousness and consigns us to ignorance and turbulent mind.

In addition to universal Dharma, each individual has his or her own personal Dharma or Swadharma: the law that connect us with our purpose in life. Living disconnected or against it brings karma and suffering to our life and the people around us. Ayurveda states that health depends upon discovering our Swadharma and living in harmony with it.

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